The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has warned the presidential candidates to caution their supporters ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Naija News reports that the police was reacting to online bullying and violent verbal exchange between the supporters of major presidential candidates.
The supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, and the Labour Party (LP) flagbearer, Peter Obi, have been in a war of words ahead of the 2023 elections.
There are fears that the war of words might culminate in violence and attacks during the campaigns which would begin next month, September.
Speaking in an interview with The Punch, Police Spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, asked the presidential candidates to caution their supporters against violence and other unlawful practices.
He also advised all politicians to eschew violence and stop threatening voices of dissent and opposition in the run-up to 2023 polls.
The police spokesman pointed out that the Electoral Act is clear on the appropriate punishment prescribed for election-related crimes. He stressed that the police would not take lightly the violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Adejobi, however, said any threat to life was a criminal offence, urging anyone who felt threatened to report to the police for necessary action.
He said, “Threats to life is a criminal offence, and everyone has the right to take up cases against anyone who threatens their life or engages in an act capable of making their life precarious or causing a problem in the country. Hence, whosoever feels threatened is at liberty to approach the police formally, for necessary action.
“The Electoral Act is clear on electoral offences and appropriate punishments. Also, our criminal laws can be applied in handling election-related crises. We have our laws and we are duty-bound to enforce them at all times.
“While we urge all political actors to be law-abiding and desist from violating the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, we will always engage relevant stakeholders, especially politicians, in deliberations, from time to time, on how to have a seamless exercise in 2023.”